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Summary: A sermon on Grace from Ephesians 2:8-9 (Much taken from Rusty Peterman from Truth for Today)

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Sermon for 3/22/2009

1st Sermon on Ephesians 2:1-9

Introduction:

A. As a bachelor one of my least favorite activities was to sit down and write checks to pay bills. I would spend 1 day every two weeks paying bills. Then Crystal came along…

B. Many companies will extend grace. They give a 30 day grace period. Do I deserve the grace period? No. They really give me what I do not deserve.

WBTU:

A. Grace is one of the key terms in the bible. The Hebrew word involved the idea of bending or stooping down. Eventually, it came to include the thought of “condescending favor,” or showing favor to someone unexpectedly. Think of a king who goes out of his way to do something kind for a servant, out of the generosity of his heart.

B. Grace is unmerited favor, the undeserved nature of the action. Grace is something God freely chooses to offer, not something He is obligated to give to us.

C. Jesus never specifically used the word “grace.” His actions indicate that He knew the meaning of grace. Grace flowed freely from Jesus. His whole life was full of grace.

D. Grace abounded especially at the cross.

1. (Luke 23:34 NIV) Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

2. (Luke 23:42 NIV) Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."(Luke 23:43 NIV) Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

3. (John 19:30 NIV) When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

E. From this section of Scripture we are going to start at the end in vs. 8 and 9 and in a few weeks we are going to end at the beginning with vs. 1.

Thesis: God alone deserves the glory for the grace which makes our salvation possible.

For instances:

I. Our salvation exalts the greatness of God’s grace

Vs. 8- Three words here.

1. Grace.

A. Grace is God’s doing good for someone who does not deserve it. Nothing in us merits salvation. What we are and what we do could never put God in the position of somehow owing us eternal life with Him.

B. We have sinned against Him but he loves us, seeks by His grace to save us, and desires to give us eternal life with Him in heaven.

C. The Yadkinville Church of Christ had a yard sale. Well, it was actually a storage room giveaway. Dennis Conner said, “We didn’t really sell anything. We had so much stuff that it took up too much space. Also, we wanted to reach out to the community. As people came up we told them, “Everything is free! Take as much home as you can. We want you to have it.” People responded in curious ways. Many were noticeably uncomfortable. Some didn’t come thinking there was a catch. Others refused to leave without paying. Others, after much convincing, finally took the stuff to their cars, not believing their good fortune. And I thought to myself, “That’s pretty much the way people are about God’s grace.” We insist on paying or working for it.

2. Saved

A. This verb is passive. It stresses what has been done to us. We do not save ourselves. Sinners come up here and save yourselves. No!

B. God saves us. Our salvation testifies to the action of God in our lives.

C. Saved means being rescued, being delivered.

3. Faith

A. Salvation comes to us by grace through faith at baptism for good works.

B. God expects us to trust in and act on the words and promises of God, but our active faith must in no way be seen as earning our salvation.

C. In several courses I took in college I made a contract with the professor. To receive an “A” I had to do this, this, this and this. At the end of the semester, if I had contracted for an “A” and had done all that was required to get that “A”, I deserved an “A.” The professor did not do me a favor by giving me an “A.” He did not show grace by giving me an “A.” If I did the work, he was obligated to give me that grade. That was the contract.

D. When it comes to salvation, the situation is different. Please do not confuse what we sometimes call the “plan of salvation”- hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized- with a contract made with God. Do not think, “If I do these things, I deserve salvation.”

E. What do we deserve?

F. Yes, but I earned it. Earned it?

G. I am saved because I believe. I am saved because I repented. I am saved because I confessed. I am saved because I was baptized. No! We are saved by God’s grace. None of these actions can earn salvation for anyone. Sinners cannot earn salvation.

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